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Obituary for Erich P. Schwandt 

Erich P. Schwandt

-Erich was born in Paso Robles, California, to Erich and Mary Schwandt. Erich was predeceased by his sister Inga and is survived by his siblings Mary Anne, James and Martha. Erich attended Stanford University, earning his Ph.D. in music in 1967, then went on to teach at Eastman. In 1976, he accepted a position at University of Victoria, which he held until his retirement in 2001. Erich devoted his life and the full force of his considerable intellect to his work as a professor, music historian and performer, specializing in baroque era music, dance, harpsichord and organ. He communicated this passion to his students, who found him to be a unique and intensely motivating teacher. His musical interests ranged wide and were not confined only to centuries past.

During his Stanford years, he worked with Dave Guard on several songs for the Kingston Trio. As a historian he discovered and reconstructed the lost Gloria movement of Erik Satie’s Messe des Pauvres (Mass of the Poor), which had been missing since 1885. Erich performed the full mass in its world premier November 5, 1997, at University of Victoria on the Clearihue organ, accompanied by a 40-person choir. Erich had been instrumental in finding the organ and seeing it restored and installed. Erich continued to play the Clearihue at UVIC convocations until 2015, attending more graduations than anyone in the history of the university. Erich was awarded honorary alumnus status at UVIC, where the head of music described Erich as “one of his department’s defining spirits.”

A memorial gathering will be held for Erich in the Farquhar Auditorium at University of Victoria, on Saturday, September 30 at 2 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Mary M. and Erich P. Schwandt Scholarships, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Victoria, PO Box 1700 STN CSC, Victoria BC V8W 2Y2, attn: Development Office. Include in Cheque Memo: Mary M. and Erich P. Schwandt Scholarships.

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